Missionary formation is the task of the local Church, assisted by missionaries and their institutes, and by personnel from the young churches. This work must be seen not as peripheral but as central to the Christian life.
Thirty years after this document was penned, we have more of an awareness of the centrality of the Church’s mission–not institutional preservation. We’re not totally in a good, new place about it. But this document can help us. The mission apostolate can fuel our truest, oldest, and most loyal purpose as Christians:
Even for the “new evangelization” of Christian countries the theme of the missions can prove very helpful: the witness of missionaries retains its appeal even for the non-practicing and non-believers, and it communicates Christian values.
An important point:
Particular churches should therefore make the promotion of the missions a key element in the normal pastoral activity of parishes, associations and groups, especially youth groups.
We often fail at this. Bringing missions into view almost always happens at Mass, and that, for just one weekend a year. Perhaps technology can help:
With this end in view, it is necessary to spread information through missionary publications and audiovisual aids. These play an important role in making known the life of the universal Church and in voicing the experiences of missionaries and of the local churches in which they work. In those younger churches which are still not able to have a press and other means of their own, it is important that missionary institutes devote personnel and resources to these undertakings.
If written today, we might discuss social media here. More on this section tomorrow.
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